“Sharing a Meal”
In the photographs below, taken from the EagleCam on May 6 and May 8, one of the adult eagles has brought a fish to feed its hungry brood. The first thing you will probably notice is how much more similar in size the eaglets are to their parent. Now at approximately 8 weeks of age, the juvenile eaglets have reached roughly 75% of their full size, and in the next few weeks will come to actually weigh more than the adult. At this stage, the juveniles are also developing thicker and longer plumage than the adults, although their tail feathers are still stubby. Their plumage development will continue for several more weeks and probably even after they have left the nest. The process of taking their maiden flight from the nest is known as fledging, and on average occurs at 12 weeks of age. But preparation for this significant event has already begun. Behaviorally, you may have noticed a lot more activity on the eaglets’ part: they are moving around the nest a lot more, and flapping their wings and lifting off the nest a foot or more as they begin to stretch and test their wings.